American Cockroach

Cockroach isolated on a white background

  • Also known as the Water bug and Palmetto bug.
  • The largest species of common cockroach.
  • Despite the name, it was introduced to the U.S. from Africa.
  • 1.5 in or larger
  • Reddish brown with a yellowish margin on the body region behind the head.
  • Live in warm, moist areas.
  • Feeds on decaying organic matter especially fermenting foods.
  • Considered one of the fastest running insects.


German Cockroach

"Blattodea. Cascuda. Santiago de Compostela 1" by Lmbuga - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons.

Blattodea. Cascuda. Santiago de Compostela 1” by LmbugaOwn work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons.

  • Most common species in homes, apartments, hotels, and restaurants.
  • 1/2 inch in length
  • Tan to light brown with 2 dark parallel lines running down the back.
  • Can hide easily and fit into very small cracks and crevices
  • Eat starch, sugar, grease, and meats.
  • Commonly found in kitchens and bathrooms.
  • Prefer warm, humid places.
  • Pose health risks.


Oriental Cockroach



  • Also called waterbug or black beetle
  • 1 in long
  • Has wings, but doesn’t fly
  • Very dark brown to almost black and shiny
  • Feeds on garbage and decaying organic matter
  • Found outdoors under debris, stones, leaves, etc.
  • Founds indoors in dark, damp areas such as basements and crawl spaces
  • Enjoys cooler temperatures than other cockroach species


Smoky Brown Cockroach

"Cockroach egglaying 2" by Toby Hudson - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

Cockroach egglaying 2” by Toby HudsonOwn work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

  • Also called woods roach or waterbug
  • A little over 1 inch long
  • Dark mahogany color
  • Prefers warm, damp, dark, and poorly ventilated areas
  • Founds in sheds, subfloors, mulch, and leaf litter
  • Can fly short distances